It’s the holiday season! So it’s time to make some epic eats with our favorite holiday ingredients, including pork, apples, stuffing, and cranberry. The result is this cranberry apple walnut bacon stuffed pork tenderloin recipe. This recipe has so much going on, you can barely say it in one breath! And when you add apple cider vinegar, honey, dijon and herb sauce at the end, you really can’t say it in one breath.
In this recipe, there are a lot of flavors going on – the sweet tartness of your apple, the bitterness of the cranberry, bread crumbs to soak everything up. Also, pork on top of pork… and I even brined my pork first. I kind of went all out lol. I seasoned both sides with original Dan-O’s Seasoning for the perfect herb and spice blend as well.
The hardest part of this recipe is butterfly cutting the pork tenderloin. You might want to watch a few videos on this, but you essentially make half-inch slices in a spiral until your pork is one large flat piece. From there, you use a meat mallet and smash it down flat and trim off the sides to make one large uniform cut.
I’m a little upset at my local butcher today because what I thought was a 3 lb tenderloin was actually 2 smaller ones stuffed into 1 bag! They totally got me, so I made the best of it. One of my pieces of tenderloin I used to make a giant stuffed pork chop, and the other one I rolled up as the stuffed pork tenderloin as planned. I did not have a favorite of the two – meat parents don’t pick favorites. I still will finish this recipe out like I had a 3 lb loin, though.
So why put pork on pork? Well, the oven can totally dry out pork as you cook it, but bacon has so much fat, it will keep the tenderloin moist the whole time. I usually cook my stuffing just a little bit before rolling it into the pork, just because that’s what the USDA would recommend AND I want to make sure it’s cooked all the way.
This could easily be the centerpiece of your holiday meal or some epic thing you cook on a regular day. Serve with a fresh veggie and probably mashed potatoes. Enjoy!
- (1) 3 lb pork tenderloin butterfly cut
- ½ pound of bacon
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tbs salt
- 4 tbs Dan-O’s Seasoning
- 2 cups of cubed fresh apple
- ¾ cup of fresh cranberry
- ½ cup walnuts
- ¼ stick of butter
- 1 cup of unseasoned bread crumbs
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup honey
- 2 tbs dijon mustard
- Butterfly cut your pork tenderloin and trim into a large rectangle. Use a meat tenderizer to pound evenly flat at about ½ inch thickness.
- Make your brine by mixing 2 cups of water, two tablespoons of coarse salt, and 1 tbs Dan-O’s Seasoning and placing in a large plastic bag. Add your butterfly cut pork to the bag, and let it soak for 1-2 hours.
- While your pork brines, peel and core two apples, and dice into quarter-inch cubes until you have about 2 cups. Chop up about ¾ cup of fresh cranberries and add them to a bowl. Mash about a half cup of walnuts and add to mix. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and melt ¼ stick of butter in a separate bowl. Add about ¾ cups of bread crumbs over the cranberry and apple, and pour in the butter. Mix together, and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the pork from the brine, dry off, and coat both sides with Dan-O’s Seasoning. Remove stuffing from the oven, and layer over one side of the pork. Roll the pork up longways about 3 times until it’s back to its original loin-like shape. Be careful not to let it unroll.
- Carefully roll full strips of uncooked bacon around the loin, starting from the middle. Overlap your pieces of bacon, and use it to hold the loin together without it unrolling.
- Bake your rolled up, bacon-wrapped loin at 350 degrees for about an hour until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees. Broil for the last 5-10 minutes so the bacon crisps up.
- While your pork rests, whisk together the honey, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, and 1 tbs of Dan-O’s Seasoning and a few tbs of drippings from your pork into a saucepan. Cook on low heat and whisk until it thickens and reduces.
- Allow your pork to rest about 15 minutes before slicing. Pour sauce over slices before serving. Enjoy